Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Egyptian Patterns, a New Venture and International Tax Treaties

One of my Screen Prints from the late 1980s!
Sadly, it's been next to impossible to do anything remotely creative this month, thanks to the ongoing debacle with Zazzle who are threatening to withhold 30% of our earnings for the IRS taxes.

It's really unusual, practically unheard of, for me to lack any enthusiasm for 
creating. But if creativity is about 'ideas' and 'imagination', maybe my creativity 
has been channelled into coming up with ideas for how best to oppose this wholly unfair tax. 

I think the best way to explain the complicated situation that we 'International 
Zazzlers' find ourselves in, and what we are doing about it, is to post the link to my email to MAP (Mutual Agreement Procedure) who deal with double taxation problems.

Other members of the International Zazzlers Facebook group I set up also wrote to MAP and yesterday one of them received an encouraging email telling us that our complaints have been handed over to the Tax Treaty Team who deal with generic issues affecting the application of the Treaty and that they will be taking up the issue with their US counterparts. So it looks as if we have found help at last!

In spite of all this time-consuming campaigning, I have created some products with my Egyptian patterns but only a few compared to my normal 'output'. And these are patterns I made last year, based on one traditional Egyptian pattern with Lotus Flowers and Papyrus (above) that began life as a screenprinted fabric to be used in a fashion show I was involved in, way back in the 1980s! (Never throw away anything to do with Art and Design!)

One good thing that has come out of all of this - apart from making new friends in the International Zazzlers Group! - is that we've all put our heads together to share our experiences with other PODs. 

And one of the online stores that took our fancy is the new UK one, Zippi - you need to click on the patterns to see the products I've created and you'll see that their prices are much more affordable than some of the other PODs. It's based in Southampton, not far from where I grew up. (Being in the UK is significant because of this horrendous tax business!)

So I've opened an account there and when time has allowed, I've begun uploading some of my patterns for sale on a range of products. The site has a far smaller range of items available at the moment but the staff are very open to suggestions for future product lines from those of us who are now considered 'old hands' in the PODs business. Here are just a few - 


We're all hoping that the ITIN issue will soon be resolved so that we can get on with what we enjoy doing - painting, designing, photography etc! - now that we've at last been able to contact a body that will probably be able to help. 

But wheels often turn excruciatingly slowly and we may well find ourselves in for the long haul. So please bear with me if my 'Work in Progress' centres more around Tax Treaties than new designs. 

Everything WILL get back to normal one day - but we're having to work on it!